Oil spill and ship collision prevention

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The Automatic Information System (AIS) offers a cost-effective, open-source way of tracking marine traffic through the Salish Sea in near real-time. Since all large vessels are required to transmit their identifying information (name, vessel type, speed, course, and more) a network of shore-based receivers could enable risks to killer whales and other endangered species of the Pacific Northwest to be assessed and mitigated with a very fast response time.

A system to prevent southern resident killer whales from being exposed to a catastrophic oil spill in the Pacific Northwest could be built by combining AIS data with orca locations provided by the growing networks that locate the endangered orcas by sight or through detection and classification of the sounds they emit (e.g. Orca Network, [1] The Whale Museum, [2], and the Northeast Pacific Hydrophone network)). This wiki is a place to centralize information required for building and funding such a prevention and response system.

Live data displays for the Salish Sea

  • MarineTraffic.com (Upon zoom gives Flag, Ship Type, Status, Length x Breadth, Draught, Destination, ETA, IMO, receive date/time, PLUS great links to track and ship details, including some photos)
  • Shine Micro Live AIS Google map (may require free registration; upon zoom gives MMSI#, Name, Type, Destination, receive date/time, but often out-dated)
  • Hal's sailwx.org page presenting data from World Meteorological Organization's VOS and the YOTREPS network

AIS hardware/software

General AIS information/links

Other inspiring sites and links related to AIS

  • Bay Area shipping (Flash-based; live and animation of recent movements)
  • Live English Channel shipping (ShipPlotter + Google Earth/plugin)
  • Digital Seas (live and archived ship data, including community-provided photos
  • SARS Marinetrac software (as of 2008, used by WA Dept. of Ecology to track vessels for oil spill response, etc)
  • USCG Vessel Tracking System in Seattle is upgrading in 2009, but has used radar supplemented by verbal VHF data (provided data feed via home-grown software to Dept of Ecology, but may not after 2008)